Singapore out of Fina World Swimming Championships after 4 swimmers test positive for Covid-19

The world championships have been hit by several Covid-related complications.
PHOTO: Facebook/fina1908

SINGAPORE - Singapore will not compete at the Fina World Swimming Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi after four of the Republic's 14 swimmers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The four swimmers, who are isolating in a different hotel from the others, are awaiting the results of a second polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The Straits Times understands that three of the swimmers are asymptomatic, while one has a cough, fever and loss of smell and taste but does not require medical attention.

The Singapore contingent travelled to Dubai on Sunday (Dec 12) and cleared the pre-departure test then, before arriving in Abu Dhabi the next day for the Dec 16-21 short course world championships.

The squad includes SEA Games medallists Teong Tzen Wei, Pang Sheng Jun, Darren Chua, Maximillian Ang, Nur Marina Chan, Amanda Lim and Quah Jing Wen.

Accompanying the team at the world championships are SSA technical director Sonya Porter, coaches Gustavo Schirru, Douglas Djang and Zhang Jian Lan, physiotherapist Ivy Yeung, strength and conditioning coach Thng Shiqi and high performance manager Tracie Tan.

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The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) said in a statement: "SSA is keeping in close contact with the swimmers, their families and the authorities, providing all the necessary support to ensure that the health and safety of our swimmers are taken care of.

"SSA is currently seeking approval and making arrangements to travel for members of the contingent who have not tested positive to fly back to Singapore. Sonya Porter will remain in Abu Dhabi to look after the affected swimmers and will fly back to Singapore with them after they are allowed to travel."

The world championships have been hit by several Covid-related complications.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Fina president Husain Al-Musallam said that seven nations had withdrawn from the meet due to issues related to the Omicron variant.

A travel ban on South Africa over the new Covid-19 variant has seen the country's original team of 21 swimmers cut to just four, which includes 10-time short course world champion Chad Le Clos and Australia-based Michaela Pulford.

Olympic gold medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker and 2021 Fina Swimming World Cup winner Matt Sates are among the South African swimmers who will miss the meet.

Italian breaststroker Fabio Scozzoli, who was the 2012 world short course champion in the 100m breaststroke event, also withdrew from the competition and is in quarantine in Italy after testing positive for Covid-19.

The swimmers are not the only national athletes who have been hit by the virus. Last month, Lions captain Hariss Harun and teammate Hafiz Nor tested positive for Covid-19, but both have since recovered and are with the national team for the ongoing AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.